Misbeliefs About Hungary
Ipsos carried out a survey in 14 countries, with the intention to explore people’s awareness concerning some sociological facts of international interest. The population of Hungary did not perform very well, it occupies the 10th position.
Swedes are the most familiar with their own society, but the awareness of Germans and Japanese is also remarkable. Least of all, Italians and Americans are aware of the facts about their countries. Hungarians were out in the voter turnout at the latest parliamentary elections and at the rate of unemployment – the former is thought to be much smaller than it really is (47%), the latter is thought to be much higher (39%) than the official. Next, the topics covered by the survey are represented, and facts and assumptions of the population are compared. The data used are from national and international statistics.
Teenage pregnancy: according to Hungarians’ suppositions, 16% of the girls aged 15-19 give birth, while the truth is that it is only 2%. With this misbelief, Hungary is towards the end of the list, at the 11th place.
Muslims: in Hungary, the rate of Muslims is low, measured in only a few tenths of a percent. However, the population thinks that more people (7%) fall into this group. This exaggerated estimation is still relatively close to the facts, only three countries estimated it more accurately: South Korea, Poland and Japan.
Christians: according to official figures from the 2011 consensus, the proportion of those belonging to the Christian religions is 53%. People think that 63% belongs to this group. Based on our level of knowledge, we are in second place behind the Germans, who are aware of the exact percentage. However, the the latest census data on religious and sectarian classification were under discussion. During the previous census (2001), even more people (73%) claimed to be Christians. The significant decrease is likely due to the fact that while in 2001, 11% did not answer the referendum question about religion, now 27% abstained.
Immigrants: according to the official international statistics, 2% of the people living here count as immigrants. According to the population, it is much higher: 16%. All countries included in the survey overestimate the presence of immigrants: we are at the 10th place of the awareness ranking. During the research, people were informed about the actual ratio following their answers, and were asked why they think that there are more immigrants than the data in the official statistics. It is a common argument (40%) that many people enter and stay in Hungary illegally, and they are not officially registered. The other common excuse (36%) for the false perception argued that they mentioned the relatively high proportions based on the experience of their environments.
The elderly: Hungarians think that the society is much older than it is in real. People estimate that the proportion of people over 65 is 40%; however, in fact, far fewer (18%) people of this age live in Hungary. The size of the older generation is also exaggerated elsewhere in the world. Out of the 14, we are at the 8th place in the awareness ranking.
Voter turnout: although the latest parliamentary elections were only a few months ago, Hungarians still underestimate the proportion of the voters. Instead of the turnout of 62%, people remembered 47%. Probably, the low turnout at the EP election influences the distortion of knowledge. Otherwise, the underestimation of the voter turnout is typical in the whole world, we occupy the 11th position.
Unemployment: the Hungarian population assumes unemployment to be much higher than that in the official statistics. People put unemployment rate extremely high, at 39%, while it is around 11%. It is a significant misbelief, and only the ignorance of South Korea and Italy was bigger.
Life span: life expectancy of the children born in Hungary in 2014 is 75 years. We are much more pessimistic: our projection is only about 68 years. Based on the difference from facts, we stand at the 13th place; South Koreans were less accurate.
Crime: the majority of the Hungarian population (61%) thinks that the number of murders have been rising in the recent years. Only 16% gave the appropriate response (the rate of crimes against life has been reducing); 23% did not give any answers. We are also at the end of the list in this respect, only South Koreans and Italians have larger false perceptions.
The survey was carried out by Ipsos in 14 countries, in the second part of August. The number of participants is 11.500, out of which there were 500 Hungarians.
based on article of zipp.hu
translated by Vivien Pásztai